Posted at: 10/20/2013 12:21 AM
| Updated at: 10/20/2013 12:33 AM
By: Steve Flamisch
RENSSELAER -- Investigators are working to determine the cause of a house fire, and whether there is any connection at least two previous fires on that same property.
Firefighters were dispatched to 1576 Broadway, on the corner of Central Ave., shortly after 2:30 p.m. Saturday, fire officials said. There was no one home at the time.
"Upon arrival, we had heavy smoke in the back of the building and we had fire and smoke on the first and second floor," Rensselaer Assistant Fire Chief Jay Corcoran said. "It took us about a half-hour or so to get it under control."
No firefighters were injured, Corcoran said. Several neighbors said they believe there were no pets inside the home, which sustained extensive damage.
Saturday's fire is at least the third on that property in recent years, Rensselaer Fire Chief Phil Faust told NewsChannel 13. The first broke out in the same part of the house -- the kitchen -- about 15 years ago, while the home was under different ownership, he said.
The current homeowner endured a garage fire on September 9 of this year, Faust said. The cause is still under investigation.
"He just had the restoration company come over and it was repaired... the siding, everything that burned," neighbor Erma Faith Bunch said. "All of a sudden, I don't know what kind of fire this is (today), but there was smoke every place."
Reached by telephone, the homeowner said he is "spent" after learning of a second fire on his property in recent weeks. He said he was four-and-a-half hours away from home when a police officer called with the bad news.
Bunch described the homeowner as a friendly neighbor who takes excellent care of his property. She said she feels sorry for him.
"I really do," she said. "He always comes over and asks me to pray for him."
The Clinton Heights and Defreestville Fire Departments provided mutual aid at Saturday's fire. The East Greenbush Fire Department was standing by.